After wonder dog Brandy came the golden retriever Dakota, otherwise known as Ding Dong Dog. Where Brandy had sense and a calm disposition, Dakota had….well I don’t know what she had except that I’m not sure if she could have more than one thought at a time in her head. And preferably it was an EXCITING thought. There wasn’t a mean bone in her body, but at 80 pounds in adulthood, her exuberance made her a bit of a handful. I had rugs with the fringe chewed off and kitchen chairs where the lower rungs were scarred. Just the right height for a resting puppy to occupy herself. Rawhide chew toys that were supposed to last weeks were consumed in 2 days. She definitely did not have the soft bird mouth that Brandy had. I wish Cesar Milan had been around then as some of his advice would have been quite helpful. She finally was able to be calmer when she was about 6 1/2. We had 30-40 teenagers over for a 2000 New Year’s Eve party and all of that activity with so many people finally forced her into brain overload. After that she was able to have a bit more self-control.
I don’t normally do portraits of people but this photo just seemed so cute. And Dakota looks so innocent. Once again I sketched out the picture in pencil and then inked with the nib pen. The only part I am unhappy with is the lower lip. It should be a little bit rounder. All in all however, since I haven’t done a person portrait in years I am not too displeased. After the inking, I started in on the watercolor layers. I took most of the afternoon alternating with the lower collie picture. Once again I want to not overdo it. In some ways now I may be too far in the other direction and not putting enough color in. It is such a fine line. I will look at these again tomorrow.
This collie picture is based on a picture of the pet of a relative. I love sable collies, having grown up reading books by Albert Payson Terhune. I wanted a Lad of my own and did have a wonderful, gentle collie for a few years after college. He, like Brandy, was wonderfully balanced and a joy to be around. Sadly we lost him too soon. I am pleased with the balance of colors on him although I may come back an add a little bit more definition to the head with the pen.
I’m not sure where I will go from here. I have a zoo trip in the offing and perhaps another road trip visiting small southern Indiana main streets. I do have a few more pet photos. I haven’t decided whether or not to list these in my Etsy store. Maybe I should set up some listings for breed pictures. Doing portraiture on commission is a lot scarier than the home portraits. Our eyes forgive a lot more in architecture than they do in living portraiture.